time flies...

a big fat joy-filled HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish for my sweet baby nephew.
thank you for putting even more love in my heart this past year.
enjoy your day brodes...may it be full of all your favorite things.
love, auntie jess


overheard in our bed this morning...

...our FAMILY bed that is...just in case you thought this was heading somewhere a bit scandalous...it isn't. Let me set our morning scene for you. Usually around 6 or 6:30, Asher stumbles along into our bedroom...walks over to my side of the bed and greets me with a soft sweet "hi mama" or a very LOUD "hi mama...Asher wake up...sun wake up!!" (depending on his mood I suppose). He then will pull his little frame onto my nightstand and climb into our queen size bed that is holding the three sleepy bodies of me, Josh and Journey. Usually, upon hearing just a hint of his voice...Journey will squeak with delight, open her eyes and scurry to a sitting position with a HUGE smile spreading across her face. Asher then pours his good morning wishes upon her with a less-than-gentle embrace that sends them both into the depths of the canyon that forms between their parents bodies. After finding stability, they begin to play and climb and jump and clap and sing...both of them so innocently content with the new day and with the love of those they know best. Lately I have really enjoyed seeing the way in which Asher interacts with Journey in these early hours of the morning...and how she receives his love with so much excitement and joy. There is nothing quite like it. And so it was this morning as Asher woke us up long before we had ever planned on greeting the new day, and after relishing in his own happiness for a few minutes...with a sincere and strong hug for each one of us...he speaks loudly and clearly with each hug he gave..."I YUV FENDS!" (I love friends!). Me too buddy. Especially ones like you.


beautiful boy

There is new life in our extended family.
My sister Brittni gave birth to a gorgeous babe today.
Welcome to this world, baby Wyatt.
We are so glad you have come!


sweet relief

happy equinox!
I've been noticing light lately...or just seeing it in a different way. I think it has everything to do with the subtle change in the air that I am feeling. Although it isn't the kind of crisp, cool air that I desperately dream of...there is a change. The temperatures dropped down into the double digits this past week...clouds have lingered around the past few mornings...making my tea and coffee pots work tirelessly to bring me delight in the early hours of the morning. The night creeps in on us much earlier these days...and the mornings seem to stumble along into existence. I can feel a very definite change in our energies as we open up our time and day to greater possibilities. The air changes and so do our lives...we are starting to venture outside a great deal more...thinking more expansively about what our play can entail...our minds are opening up a bit more with each day that allows for us to feel significantly more comfortable beneath the grand blue above. It feels like we are inhaling more...breathing in...living lighter...shifting perspective. This means that when the day does come along...the moments seem to take on new life. I think about other people in different parts of the world and wonder about the way the air feels on their skin...I wonder if they long for the light that seems to shine on in our small corner of the world. I am seeing the light around me from a new angle...I like that it isn't blaring down on me...but rather offering itself in a much more gentle way...still proudly and confidently...but more tenderly. It peeks through trees and dances upon water and shines on our skin through rectangular windows...it passes through prisms, urging us to chase rainbows on our kitchen floor...we seem to be finding our shadows more and thinking of things that bring us smiles. Like morning walks that don't leave us tired and grumpy...or afternoons that become available to outdoor fun. And although we never quite experience "fall" in the way that many others do (it kind of feels like a second summer to me...one that I wrap my arms around)...it does send my thoughts towards pumpkin muffins and spiced cider and brown sweaters...and everything else that comes along with these next few months. The days are growing shorter while our hunger for play gets fed in rich and delicious ways that feel oh-so-new after these long summer months. I seems to be turning my intentions towards trying my hardest to make every moment count...which just so happens to be a wonderful attempt at living mindfully. And it shifts my energy into how we live each day and where there is room to grow and where there is a need to settle in and acknowledge the beauty in what we already know and have. I am thinking on the seasons in my life where I have found "light"...where I have been shown those precious truths that somehow brighten up my spirit in a way that shines on into every corner of my existence...and I think about this season approaching us and my heart aches for simplicity...for intimate moments with those that I love...with the courage to say "no thank you" to enough of the invitations that always happen to flood these fall months in order to open up our time and truth to the important act of just BEING...not doing. I am thinking and reading a lot about how to graciously make effort towards simplifying and minimizing the "to do" of the next three months...how to indulge more in that "light" and less in the things and activities that usually surround this season. But for now, I suppose it is just about that kind of reflection...and about the sun shining on in a quieter way...one that pulls us out into more frequent visits with nature but also sends us searching within...into the magnitude of our questions and dreams...where even the smallest ray of light makes the biggest difference.


just feelin' thankful

Despite my genuine desire to hop on this blog as a small piece in my own daily rituals...it doesn't seem to be happening to the degree I dream of. There is some serious consideration going on here about the need to upgrade to high-speed Internet...one of the reasons that I procrastinate in posting...I just can't (and have a pretty steep dislike towards) waiting 10 minutes to upload one photo...can ya blame me?! That, plus the fact that the computer is in our room...which just so happens to be the baby's room as well...and well, that doesn't make up for an ideal situation when the perfect time to write is late at night, when both babes are sleeping...and my efforts towards keeping her asleep far outweigh the ones in which I sit and type.
But...here I am today, because I just really wanted to get on here and also because I have one sleeping babe who is OUT. Out in the beyond- waking-due-to-the-sound-of-typing kind of way. And another babe who is abnormally lethargic due to some tummy aches...who is more than willing to give me a few moments on the computer while he watches a little PBS. And all of that will probably change within a matter of moments...so let me just say what I came here to say! (good idea).
THIS boy. Oh my. There is so much that I want to say about him right now. Is it because of the way in which he has recently changed his naming of me from "mama" to "babe"...as in "c'mon babe let's go" or "no babe...don't want it"? Is it the way in which he guides and protects Jo-Jo from doing the same exact things that he loves to do...like "no no nourney...no climbing...big BIG owies!" and how, after he suggests a safer route to her or a safer toy to play with...he gently squeezes her cheeks and informs her that she indeed SHOULD "yisten to Asher!". He is THREE, after all. He knows the ropes. It might also have to do with a little nightly singing session that has quickly become my most FAVORITE ritual of the day. The one in which my heart turns to mush in seeing him smile nervously as he anticipates singing a song with me. Asher has just recently shared with me his knowledge of the lyrics to the songs that I have sung to him nightly for the past three years...specifically the three in which he has requested (in order) over and over and over again every night for the past six months or so. The fishie song, the star song and the sunshine song. And so it is that every night I climb into bed with him, lay by his side as he takes one of my ears in between his thumb and index finger, and he begins asking for his songs. He likes for me to sing it one time through first...just for good measure...I think to make sure he is confident of the words as he practices them quietly in his mind while I sing the run-through. After me singing...he quietly asks me to sing again, only this time ASHER sings with mama. And then we sing...and his voice...oh his voice...hitting the same note for every word that he tries so very hard to pronounce just right. He smiles widely and giggles bashfully, thumbing the lobe of my ear like a worry stone and his voice trembles in a way that sends my heart into a million different pieces all at once. And as I praise him for his willingness and for his courage and for what a tremendously beautiful singer he is...his legs twitch about and he cuddles close and his arms wrap around my neck...because those moments are what build us up and make us proud. The moments when we share ourselves with others...no matter how nervous we are...and we reach down deep inside and try to be brave and send out our abilities with the most effort and beauty we can muster up...and it is always so nice to have it received with gentleness...with praise for what we gave...and with the kind of joy that leaves us feeling like we did something great. Asher does that for me every night since he has decided to trust me with his interest in these songs and in filling the air with music. It leaves me in this state of honest thankfulness...for all that he teaches me and for all that he brings to my life. And THIS girl. This girl who grows and changes with every passing minute of the day...but whose bright eyes and loving nature are steady pieces of our truth. A girl who loves to socialize and touch people with innocent trust in their goodness. This girl who encompasses so much...who makes herself laugh with explosion and who loves to be held close and feel safe. I love this girl. Last night, as I was singing with Asher...she fell asleep during her dinner with daddy. I was told her blinks became long and drawn out until they began to move her head about in winding circles...sending it to collapse to the side in a quiet surrender to her body's needs. I walked out to witness her tired body slumped down in her chair and just got so overwhelmed with this magnitude of gratefulness. I am surely blessed that I get to spend a few years in the daily presence of these souls. Josh snapped these photos and I had to share...pure sweetness.

And this one?? Oh.my.goodness. I am so in love.


finding rhythm in the madness

loads of ideas have been entering and exiting and re-entering my mind in the recent past. the struggle has become knowing what to pursue and then creating the time in which to do it. i have come into the realization that i must learn to create and to dream and to aspire...all in the reality of my world...in the fact that I don't have a moment to myself...that there are mouths to feed and bodies to dress and books to read and teeth to brush and minds to teach and all needs to be met. it doesn't leave much room for the time i so crave in which i can explore and experiment and discover new creative avenues. i have been thinking a lot about that and how it is in these moments of providing that i need to call upon that raw energy....that desire of mine to unleash something inspiring and beautiful. these moments that have started to become our rhythm...the early morning footsteps towards the side of my bed where i am greeted with an energetic "hi mama!" as he climbs into bed with me...waking up journey who is at my side...causing her to greet the day with exuberant enthusiasm because she is just so darn happy to be with her loved ones. That kind of simplicity is something i am constantly learning from. And then there are the quiet moments in the morning where my babes and i sit down for breakfast and talk and giggle and make plans for the day. The day comes and most of it is a blur of a baby hanging on my legs....a "to do" list that never gets done....a few spontaneous adventures outside or to a park or an exciting date of play that we have planned out and waited for. the day brings plenty of chaos and discord...there are tears shed every day over toys and games and things not going exactly the way we want them to. there are moments of hysteria...meltdowns...exhaustion that brings about crazy emotions that fly around and break and explode and eventually come to calm...usually in the arms of mama. So, this is where I have been...with the chaos that sends me to the edge and with the calm that brings me right back into the this house...with these children...at this moment. i am discovering more and more in this journey of parenthood that rhythm is so necessary and good. it may be taking me longer than most...as my mind and life always have seemed to be a clutter of randomness and change...comfort coming from the truth that nothing stays the same. but i am looking for ways to bring a deliberate ebb and flow, wax and wane, into the ambiance of our lives.
with that in mind, i have been quite surprised at what kind of rhythm already exists in our house...the rituals that are instinctive and special because that are ours alone and they work specifically with the unique dynamics of our own family...bringing to us little bits of peace and comfort in a world that can feel so large and endless...helping each other to create a place for ourselves amidst that kind of uncertainty. all of this speaks to me not only in my role as mama...but also in a way that provides order to my always dis-assembled mind...where desires and ideas fly about with wild abandon...giving birth to intuition and creative pursuit...but lose motion when trying to find place in my life...where there is much responsibility and an even greater amount of love for these humans that are in my care. and i find that it is about knowing where i am...and acknowledging what i am capable of...and taking the small steps each day that project my life in the direction that i would like to be going...slowly, perhaps...but moving none-the-less with the rhythm and music of each new day.



Harley girl

I have to post these because of what an awesome time it was for me! Pictured above is me...on the back of a Harley (not sure which one I am)...probably grinning from ear to ear...or closing my eyes to fully soak in the adventure...but most definitely relishing in the freedom that comes from the wind pounding on your chest and the space surrounding you and the intimacy between the bike and the road. I had every ounce of trust in the biker I rode along with...so enjoying the experience to its utmost was very easy!
And this is a picture of the rally that we went to...yes...the rally. We dropped by Ignacio where they were having their annual Bike Week. I love that I got to be a "part" of a culture that I normally don't get to be a part of. I love that bikers would acknowledge me on the road as we passed by...because for a short amount of time...I was indeed a "member". So fun! And this here is a look at the bikers we got to hang out with for the day.
The Burns Brothers.
Pretty fierce, huh???
Kyle...thanks again for a memory i am so happy to have.

this road

if ever there was a road that sung my heart song and whispered lost moments of my past back into my ear...it would be this one. this road that held a tired young girl on visits to her grandparents house. this road that led the way to a new frontier...this road that made space for me to lay my excitement and anxiety before me on my way up to college for the first time. this road that inspired courage to end my first romantic relationship...and then carried my pain and my tears on my way out of town to escape from all of that mess. this road that,years later, guided me and held me close in the hours after learning i was pregnant...allowing me to sit with josh and tell him of the news. this road that leads to this town...
this town of new beginnings and endings...where i came to know myself. this college town with gentle spirit and awe-inspiring beauty. this town where i met my love...where we ventured into relationship...where we cried and laughed and loved. this town where my worldview shifted...where i found awareness...where i explored my intuition. this town that i left after graduation in sorrow and discord...this town where josh stayed...this town that i visited so often and had to leave...my sense of place...this town.
and this town leads to this road...this road that i traveled as a small child...this road that was so familiar to me...soaking in the land as though it were my own backyard. this road that held a teenager who felt so lost without her home-town, without her friends, without everything that made up her "life"...this road that would bring her back through this town that she grew up in as a small girl...where she would visit the places she once knew so well and see how they changed and grew without her. this road that would go through this small town and lead her on to the town she considers "home"...

"home". this town that has evolved and exploded with growth, but that still holds the pieces of my childhood so carefully. this town that leaks memories from every street i drove on and almost every building i passed. this town that held the innocence of my youth and the innate happiness of play and new discoveries. this town that reaches far into my heart and grabs hold of the simple truths of what i know. this town...my town...this town i love so much.

there were many wonderful moments along our trip to visit my sister. the comfort of their home hasn't yet escaped me...the creative energy i received from cassie teaching me beading techniques (oh.my.goodness...I LOVE IT!) is still kept within reach...the quiet moments of heartfelt connection with my sister stay close in my mind...the thrill of my first Harley ride (wow!) still lingers in my spirit causing smiles to spread across my face at weird moments throughout the day...the beauty of durango still dances in my heart, calling out to me all day...and the long ride that stirred up so much within me of where i have been and where i am going is something that sits inside...very comfortably...echoing my journey thus far and helping me realize what a beautiful road i have traveled.